DS and his friend - aibu?(11 Posts)
My DS hasn't always found the social side of school easy; there have been no bullying issues that we are aware of but he is quiet and tends to be overlooked.
He has made a friend recently who's home life seems pretty grim - i won't go into detail but I have put in a phone call to SS about this, although nothing has happened that I know of.
At any rate, DS and his friend have been spending a fair bit of time together in the school holidays which is fine and because there's a large gap between DS and his sisters I am pleased for this little boy to join us and obviously I'm not going to buy my own children ice creams or entry to somewhere and not pay for him and given the situation at home I wouldn't ask his mother about it.
But, I am concerned about his influence over DS not being a positive one (bad language being an issue) and about the fact I feel I should protect DS from negative influences.
DH wants us/me to politely send small child on his way when he calls for DS, saying he is a bad influence on our son. I am more inclined to think our DS is a good influence on this child - and to be honest I'm pleased he's got a friend and seems happy.
But I can't work out if I'm being a bit naive or not. I thought I'd ask on here but have name changed in case the little boys mum reads
What do you think?
Maybe your DS will be a good influence on him? Seems a bit mean to send a child whose life is challenging away because of stuff that he can’t really help. Is it possible that you can step forward a bit and challenge his behaviour gently and kindly?
As for your DS, maybe you should explain that his friend has had a hard life and that the bad language may be acceptable in his house but there is no excuse for it in yours.
If it's just swearing, then I agree with you. Is there anything more serious behaviour-wise?
How old are they? Do they spend time together out and about unsupervised? I personally wouldn't worry about the 'bad influence' unless there was actually something worrying going on!
Has your DS's behaviour changed since he made this friend?
Unless you have noticed your DS being negatively influenced I would also be inclined to think your DS may instead be a good influence. I would just keep an eye on the friendship (how old are the boys?) and be ready to intervene or reiterate rules if either one is showing inappropriate behaviour.
If you are very worried maybe you could also chat to your DS about the rules you have (eg: no bad language) and why it's important to follow them. Say youve noticed his friend doesn't always follow the rules but that's why it's important DS does so he can help his friend to learn that rule too. Maybe if you highlight to DS his opportunity to be a good influence it will make it more likely to work that way around?
It sounds like both boys are getting something positive from the friendship so as long as you don't have any evidence that the friendship is causing a problem I would be inclined to continue to support it.
what of his actions makes you think he is a bad influence?
That is tough. You sound very kind. I've had similar over the years. Normally we've moved or they have.
Unfortunately, when they haven't - it hasn't been the easiest situation to deal with. I have found that (over the years) if the same expectations are not mirrored in others homes - it becomes impossible to nature/care for friend.
I have been a soft touch for years... It was just this summer holiday that l developed more of a backbone.
I haven't needed to everyone call SS at any point, so l haven't had the acute problem you are facing.
I'd find it very, very difficult to send a little one on their way.
For now, l'd play it by ear for a little longer.
"But, I am concerned about his influence over DS not being a positive one (bad language being an issue) and about the fact I feel I should protect DS from negative influences."
The influence needn't be all 'negative'. It can open a channel to discuss e.g. bad language. To discuss not being a sheep, to decide for yourself how you want to speak. That you can be friends without being a follower.
Negative influences are a reality. This could be a very good opportunity for your son to learn how to handle them. That would be a better protection than being kept away from them completely.
I would leave things as they are for now, and facilitate their friendship as much as possible.
I agree with travellinglighter. Supervise them closely, by all means, and don't put up with bad language, but I also think your DS could be a positive influence on this poor little boy.
For what it's worth, I don't think you're being naive - I think you're being kind
I think we need a bit more info- how old are they? What sort of "bad influence"?
You can tell a child that swearing is not acceptable, you know- you don't have to put up with it.
Thank you so much for your replies and for the good advice.
Bad language has definitely been an issue - in a sense we are lucky as a friend's gorgeously quirky DD calls swear words Appallingly Awful Words (AAWs) and we have sort of adopted AAW as a general acronym for swearing (AW I stubbed my toe!) which DS and friend both find hilarious (they are both eight, by the way.)
However, friend can be a bit rough and loud and I find my polite requests to do/not do something don't always work. I hope close supervision and not letting DS go round there will work.
"I find my polite requests to do/not do something don't always work"
A good opportunity to practice your deathstare ?
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